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Deep in the Heart of Working: The Highest Paying Jobs in Texas

Updated on April 1, 2012
Texas flag
Texas flag | Source

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Texas is the second-largest state in the U.S. and would rank as the 10th largest economy in the world. The 2010 Census showed it to be the fastest growing state in terms of numbers with a total population of over 25 million. The mean wages for the over 10 million workers here run $20.30 per hour or $42,220 per year. The top 20 highest paid jobs earn far more than that. All information is from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Doctors have the highest paying careers in Texas.
Doctors have the highest paying careers in Texas. | Source


The eight highest paying jobs in the Texas all belong to medical doctors who service the state’s large and fast-growing population. An expected increase in the middle-aged and elderly population, who typically require more medical attention, will fuel growth in these fields.

  1. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck and head to treat injuries, cure diseases or correct defects. The 660 in the state earn a mean $117.26 per hour or $243,900 per year.
  2. About 2,140 general internists diagnose and treat medical conditions that affect internal organs such as the stomach, kidneys or liver. They average $101.10 per hour or $210,290 per year.
  3. Anesthesiologists manage patient pain before, during and after surgery. About 3,540 make mean salaries of $101.01 per hour or $210,110 per year.
  4. The state’s 2,030 obstetricians and gynecologists handle women’s health issues such as pregnancy, childbirth, hormonal disorders and breast cancer. They earn a mean $99.78 per hour or $207,540 per year.
  5. Surgeons treat medical problems through operations, with 2,890 averaging $89.96 per hour or $187,110 per year.
  6. Family and general practitioners are the first doctors that patients typically see and can handle general health issues. The 5,180 doctors get a mean $89.56 per hour or $186,290 per year.
  7. The 350 orthodontists are dentists who create appliances such as braces that realign the teeth and jaws. They make $87.04 per hour or $181,040 per year.
  8. All other 18,090 physicians and surgeons in Texas who are not listed by specialty make mean wages of $84.46 per hour or $175,680 per year.

The CEOs of oil companies are also highly paid.
The CEOs of oil companies are also highly paid. | Source


Chief executive officers helm their companies to success, and may work by themselves, or more often, with administrative staff such as managers and assistants. In Texas, most such companies are in the service sector. For the goods-producing sector, natural resources and mining, especially in oil and gas, lead the way. Tough CEOs typically have advanced degrees such as MBAs, most reach their positions only after many years of managerial experience in their chosen industries. The 15,000 who work in the state earn mean salaries of $84.08 per hour or $174,880 per year.

More Medicine

The next highest paying positions in Texas are occupied by more medical professionals as follows:

  1. Podiatrists treat conditions of the foot. The 540 working in the state average $79.43 per hour or $165,220 per year.
  2. About 5,180 general dentists handle the teeth and gums to average $78.84 per hour or $163,990 per year.
  3. Pediatricians specialize in childhood medical conditions, and may see several members of the same family from birth to early adulthood. The 3,200 who work in Texas earn a mean $77.69 per hour or $161,610 per year.
  4. The state’s 1,550 psychiatrists treat mental conditions by combining therapy, medication and hospitalization. They make $73.00 per hour or $151,830 per year.
  5. The other 330 dental specialists get mean wages of $71.81 per hour or $149,360.

Other Professions

The final slots of the top 20 highest paying jobs in Texas are taken up by non-medical professionals from a variety of disciplines.

  1. Architectural and engineering managers oversee the activities of architects and engineers to complete complex projects. The 14,330 who work in the state earn a mean $68.87 per hour or $143,250 per year.
  2. Only 680 athletes compete in professional sporting events to make $139,120 per year. Their irregular work hours do not allow for hourly rate calculations.
  3. Natural sciences managers are and technicians of physicists, chemists, biologists, geologists and medical scientists. The 1,530 who work in Texas average $66.21 per hour or $137,710 per year.
  4. Petroleum engineers research and develop methods and products for extracting oil and gas. About 15,510 make mean salaries of $63.33 per hour or $131,730 per year.
  5. Lawyers advise their clients and advocate for them in legal matters such as contracts and court cases. About 33,470 average $61.85 per hour or $128,650 per year.
  6. Marketing managers develop campaigns for promoting goods and services. They then coordinate the efforts of their staff in carrying out those promotions. The 10,150 working in Texas get a mean $60.94 per hour or $126,760


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    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR

      Aurelio Locsin 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I've heard that about Texas, Peggy. Maybe I should be moving my businesses there.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Businesses like to operate in Texas because of the Right to Work laws (meaning no manditory union memberships necessary in order to work...which holds costs down); no state income tax and a lower cost of living than many other large population states like California and New York. Overall it is a very friendly working environment.

    • alocsin profile imageAUTHOR

      Aurelio Locsin 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks ladies for stopping by. And Miss Olive, I appreciate the details from a local Texan.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Interesting information alocsin. I live in Texas and have many friends that are lawyers - man do they make the bucks! Podiatrists and dentists do really well - not sure if I'd want to look at feet and teeth all day though. :)

      My dad was an optometrist and it is a very decent profession - great salaries too.

      As an FYI and comparison for your viewers - Teachers in my district earn between 40k - 65k per year. Some districts start at 48k

      Thanks for sharing!

    • tammyswallow profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Great information for Texans! Thanks for sharing.

    • peoplepower73 profile image

      Mike Russo 

      9 years ago from Placentia California

      Aurelio, great information. It would be nice to know how many job openings there are in each of the categories.

      Thank you for SHARING

    • gjfalcone profile image


      9 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Interesting hub.

      It makes me think what jobs bring that average down. Thanks for the info.

      Voted ^ & interesting


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi Aurelio,

      The people of Texas must be doing very well. Now if we could just get California back on track, that would be great! Voting up and interesting!


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